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 Ella Buchanan  (1869 - 1951)

About: Ella Buchanan
 

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Lived/Active: California/Illinois / Canada      Known for: sculpture-social themes, western genre

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
western landscape with mountains and wildflowers
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Preston, Canada and raised in Le Mars, Iowa, Ella Buchanan became a sculptor whose themes included social issues such as slavery, women's rights, poverty, early settlement in California and other frontier themes.   Among her works were The Young Lincoln (1927), The Spirit of the West Going Forward (1917) , and Navaho Indian and Zuni Girl (1931).  In 1938, her figurines of cowboys, Indians and soldiers toured California as part of the WPA Federal Art Project.

Ella Buchanan went to school in Le Mars and at the Betty Steward Institute in Springfield, Illinois.  She taught school in Texas, worked for the Pittsburgh Kansan newspaper (1898-1902), and in 1908, became the first librarian in Pittsburgh, Kansas. 

However, her persisting interest in becoming a sculptor led to her enrollment at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1908 to 1911, and then to becoming an assistant there from 1911 to 1915 to instructor Charles J. Mulligan.  Then she moved to California where she settled in Los Angeles.

In Chicago, her sculpture included studies of Native Americans and buffalo, and suffragette, tax and slavery issues.  In California, one of her earliest sculptures was of a prospector, The Desert Man.  Encouraged and sponsored by novelist Harold Bell Wright, it was done in 1915 for the El Centro Hotel Barbara Worth.  Wright made Buchanan's sculpture a gift to the city, and it remained in the hotel until the structure was destroyed by fire in 1962.  Then The Desert Man was moved to the El Centro fair grounds.

Among exhibition venues for Buchanan were the Art Institute of Chicago, John H. Vanderpoel Association, California Art Club and the Palace of the Legion of Honor.  In 1940, she was the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for distinguished achievement by a woman.


Source:
Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshike Kovinick, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Panama-California International Exposition, 1915; California Art Club, 1917-36.
Memberships:
Chicago Society of Artists; California Art Club; Hollywood Art Association

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Preston, Canada on July 14, 1869 of Scottish parents, after attending public schools in Springfield, IL, Ella Buchanan studied sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago (1908-11) where she later was an assistant instructor with Chas J. Mulligan.

She settled in Los Angeles in 1915 and became busy with sculpture commissions, mostly western subjects.  In 1940 she received the Eleanor Roosevelt award for distinguished achievement by a woman.

Unmarried, Buchanan was active in southern California until her death in Hollywood on July 15, 1951.  She was the sister of artist Luvena Vysekal.

Member:
Chicago Society of Artists; Hollywood AA.

Exhibitions:
Panama-Calif. Int'l Expo (San Diego), 1915; Calif. Art Club, 1917-36; Calif. Liberty Fair, 1918 (1st prize); Woman’s Club (Hollywood), 1920; Sculptors Guild of So. Calif., 1922; Pacific Expo (Long Beach), 1928; SFAA, 1929; Womans Club (Hollywood), 1929; LACMA, 1932; Ebell Club (LA), 1934 (1st prize); Palos Verdes Library, 1932, 1935, 1937.

Collections:
Southwest Museum (LA); Imperial (CA) Fairgrounds; Barbara Worth Hotel (El Centro).
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Contemporary American Sculpture; Women Artists of the American West; Who's Who in America 1918; Who's Who in California 1928, 1942; American Art Annual 1919-33; Who's Who in American Art 1936-53; Who's Who on the Pacific Coast 1951; Death record; Los Angeles Times, 2-4-1917 & 7-16-1951 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Preston, Canada, July 14, 1869; died Hollywood, CA, July 15, 1951. Sculptor. Teacher. Librarian. Grew up in Iowa, briefly taught grade school in southern Texas, then lived in Pittsburg from 1898-1902 where she was an advertising solicitor for the Pittsburg Kansan and served as the town librarian. Moved to Chicago to study sculpture at the Art Institute from 1908-11 and take classes from Charles J. Mulligan. Moved to California in 1915 settling in Los Angeles.
Source:
AWARDS:
Eleanor Roosevelt Award, 1940.

COLLECTIONS:
Vanderpoel Art Association ; Southwest Museum

MEMBERSHIPS:
Chicago Society of Artists; California Art Club; Hollywood Art Association

SOURCES:
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Kovinick, Phil and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick. An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998.; AskArt, www.askart.com, accessed Jan. 15, 2006
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

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